Young people, who are about to embark on a new school year and thus a new year of partying, can still have fun AND stay safe.
Co-founder of the Australian Teenage Expo and youth expert, Sonya Karras said With the beginning of the new school year, comes a full calendar of birthday parties, School formals with accompanying after parties, 16ths, 18ths and gatherings.
“Young people can’t wait to get into the new party season, some don’t even contemplate the possibility of things going wrong,” Mrs Karras said.
“Thinking about safety or the warnings that Mum or Dad bang on about all the time, may not even cross their minds.”
“Young people should not be scared, they just need to be aware there are potential dangers.
Having strategies to have the most fantastic year of partying is just smart,” Mrs Karras said.
Sacha Kaluri, Co-founder of the Australian Teenage Expo, said now young people must also consider the repercussions of what happens at parties, playing out online.
“Facebook and Instagram pictures and posts can hang around for years, possibly affecting their employability.”
Mrs Karras said the ways to protect yourself at parties included:
- Know the law: Underage drinking carries large penalties. In some states, adults supplying alcohol to young people on private property can mean a fine of more than $7000.
- Be aware: In your group, nominate a person who will be the designated non-or low drinker for the night and keep an eye on their friendship group. This can be alternated for the other nights.
- Eat well: Young people, particularly girls, are too busy ‘getting ready’ for the night and they forget to eat. Food helps to slow down the absorption of alcohol to the system. It’s quite simply – a must, if you decide to drink alcohol.
- Act like Big Brother is watching you: Remember when you are out, anyone can photograph you and upload it to Social Media sites. If you look like an idiot – there can now be photographic proof! Have your privacy settings in place and you choose whether you are “tagged” in a photo or not.
- Stay together: With the recent tragic deaths of Jill Meagher and Port Adelaide Footballer John McCarthy, it’s never been more important to stay in your group, particularly when walking home after partying. You are more vulnerable when walking alone and intoxicated.
Mrs Karras said, “above all, it’s about having fun, but being safe, so you get to do it all again the next night.”